The New York Times
New York Times
The new Mapplethorpe film begins with the voice of Senator Jesse Helms exhorting everyone to, "Look at the pictures!" He was protesting an exhibit of Mapplethorpe's work that he viewed as pornographic, and we see the conservative politician waving what he viewed as smut, seeking to inflame the culture wars, despite the fact that Mapplethorpe had died just a few months prior at the age of 42 of AIDS. That protest turned out to solidify the artist's legend.
The Komisar Scoop
Art as politics in the powerful new exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York by Laura Poitras. Museum director Adam Weinberg sets the show "in the tradition of socially and politically engaged artists - progressive artists such as Ben Shahn and Alice Neal." He said, "The aim of the projections is to provoke moral and ethical responses." Indeed, they do. Or they should.
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